The Real Reasons You Might Need a Brand Refresh
On the heels of the recent open source Mozilla rebrand and benchmark companies like Uber, Instagram, MasterCard and Netflix refreshing their identity this past year - the concept of a brand refresh is top of mind for many marketers. Should you follow in their footsteps?
As a creative agency specializing in brand strategy, we're often asked this very question. In a landscape where information comes and goes like a blip on the screen, staying power is key. To help companies that may be struggling, developing or changing - one of the first things we recommend in order to draw renewed interest with both current and potential customers, is a brand refresh.
A brand refresh is critical to maintaining and even earning relevancy in the market, but how do you know when you really need one? The most common indication is age, but that\'s not the number one reason to reboot. Here are a few cues to indicate you may need a visual update.
Design Is Outdated
Customer and market tastes are quickly changing, as is your business. More critically - the channels we use to communicate are changing, and we must adapt. It's only natural that your brand should evolve alongside these factors. In 2016, Alaska Airlines introduced a newly refreshed identity, saying that the updates were ‘the most substantial updates to its brand in a quarter century.' Named number 1 in overall satisfaction in a 2014 Wall Street Journal survey, the Airline did not necessarily need to engage in the refresh but made the moves to ensure they remain ahead of their competitors with the help of their strong brand image.
Not Reaching the Right Audience
Are your products and services suited for an alternate audience than the one you seem to be reaching? Your branding might not be suited to the customers you want. It could be that your target market has shifted since your initial branding efforts, or maybe you've decided that your products and services are best aimed at a broader or narrower audience. Responding to user patterns, twitter recently launched a refresh campaign centered around the tagline, ”See What's Happening” - with the goal of reinforcing their standing as a real-time source for news and world events. Including this new messaging, a newly vibrant look and feel was introduced, to evoke diversity and expressiveness, effectively expanding their reach and resetting existing user expectations.
Growth Has Stalled
If sales are soft and lead generation has slowed, it's necessary to go deep to find the root of the problem but many times, the jolt of new energy from a visual revamp is enough to get customers to take note. Fresh design can lead the way for an entirely new campaign strategy, giving a company something to say that's not gimmicky or too salesman-like. Similarly, if your market segment grown but your share hasn't, branding could be the problem. A newly refreshed logo could be just what\'s needed to get customers out of the woodwork, rejuvenating sales, beating out the competition and giving renewed motivation companywide.
Vision is Unclear
It doesn't matter if your services have remained the same for years, or you release new products every quarter - your marketing efforts should be evaluated on a continual basis. If communications strategies haven't been rethought in awhile, it's time to take a closer look. Every company should be evolving in response to the market, and chances are - if a logo hasn't been revamped in years, it may not reflect what the core vision of the company is. When an organization's visual branding ties back to its services, it can help customers easily understand what the company offers.
While the goal remains to leverage existing equity, making tweaks to the logo, website and overall look and feel of the brand - a brand refresh is a powerful tool for an internal team. Look at the process as a way to ‘fine-tune' your brand and understand it better. While a rebrand is a total reset, the exercise of a refresh allows a company to highlight its differentiators, reinforce its value and gain new perspective for what lies ahead.
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